In a remake of a chilling Japanese horror film, a group of curious teenagers all mysteriously die exactly one week after watching a disturbing video tape at a remote cabin in the woods.
Naomi Watts (“Mulholland Drive”) plays Rachel Keller, the journalist aunt of one of the teenage victims. At the request of the victim’s mother, Rachel begins an investigation that leads her to the actual video tape (which she watches, despite warnings that watching the tape will lead to death).
The video contains unsettling footage of random and bizarre images. After she watches the tape, Rachel receives a telephone call informing her that she has seven days until death. She then spends the next week frantically trying to discover the secret behind the eerie video. With the help of her ex-boyfriend Noah (Martin Henderson, “Windtalkers”) and her young and solemn son Aidan (David Dorfman, “Signs”), Rachel uncovers the details of a surreptitious life lead by a strange family with a “special” little girl.
Director Gore Verbinski (“The Mexican”) does a wonderful job of creating suspense throughout the entire film; with Watts’ wide eyes and young Dorfman’s very serious demeanor, there is never a relaxing moment. The creepiness of the videotape (which is showed several times during the film) doesn’t quite make you jump in your seat, but definitely evokes a disturbed and spine-chilling uneasiness.
Although the film was very reminiscent of “The Sixth Sense” and “Stir of Echoes” in the sense that a wronged soul exacts revenge on the living, a surprise ending in “The Ring” leaves the audience with mixed feelings and unresolved questions.
See it with someone whose hand you can squeeze.